American Son has ratings and 45 reviews. Rachelle said: Realistic and edgy portrayal. I know exactly what the two brother, Tomas and Gabe feel, and h. American Son is a novel that was written by American author Brian Ascalon Roley and published by W. W. Norton & Company Publishing in paperback format in. Tomas is the son who helps pay the mortgage by selling attack dogs to rich people .. Excerpted from American Son by Brian Ascalon Roley.

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Oct 10, Ridgewalker rated it liked it. While some portions of it resonated personally with me, as a second generation Filipino living in LA myself, that was definitely not enough to save this book. Mar 06, Jeffkrusel1 rated it liked it.

His prose is very masculine, but not graceful: By signing up you agree to W. Gabe, ameircan the protagonist, is the most frustrating of the characters in his sheer listlessness, which is rendered all too well by Roley, almost to the point where I was often turned aon by the depiction.

Although I appreciated how Gabe and his family reflect some characteristics of Filipinos I know, they are pretty flat as characters and Gabe’s coming-of-age at the end is simultaneously predictable and underdeveloped. Oct 05, Susan rated it liked it.

Looking back now, I feel ashamed for having ever felt embarrassed or not proud of my mother and who she is just because others treated her poorly because of her status in this society. Jul 02, L rated it really liked it Shelves: American Son is a good story and an easy read, what more can one ask for? The ending seemed like a part of the story was cut off.


It’s not long before he is back home, ashamed and ready to submit to the will of both his brother amreican America. Even as an exercise in first person narrators, this was terrible.

American Son

Other relatives do little but preach at Gabe or his mother, and school officials totally drop the ball. As a full-blooded Fil-Am, I could relate to a lot of the sentiments and quirks of growing up with immigrant relatives, as well as the problems that can arise from that. Their mother, who moved to America to escape the caste system of Manila and is now divorced from their American father, struggles to keep her sons in line while working two dead-end jobs. Although the book doesn’t end all neatly tied up in a little bundle, I think it reflects more accurately real life and it’s vagaries.

Tomas, the eldest son, helps the family earn some money by breeding, training, and selling guard dogs to Hollywood celebrities. It is this vacillating protectiveness of their mother, however, that unites Gabe with his brother Tomas and hints at some small hope for both to acquire some of the gifts of paternity that America has to offer them as American sons.

The author failed to skillfully develop or expose any of the tensions that lay beneath the surface of the tenuous relationships between Tomas, Gabe, and his mother. It was a good book, not a great book, but a step above mediocre.

One of her boys, Tomas, has assumed the persona of a young Mexican street thug and is helping her make ends meet by raising and selling guard dogs to rich clients. It is the profoundly sad story of two Filipino-American teenage brothers; their mother is Filipino, their absent father Anglo-American.


If you’ve ever seen “The Debut” with Dante Basco, you’d see the parallels. Refresh and try again. The racism that occurs in this novel effects how Gabe acts and identifies himself. The Best Books of After finishing the novel I felt like I needed to wake up from a bad dream.


Open Preview See a Problem? One may not particularly like the picture Roley paints of the Filpinos in the novel, but that’s the key. Books of the Week. Realistic and edgy portrayal. Newer Post Older Post Home. When Tomas decides they need to take revenge on a woman who is hounding their mother about paying for minor damages to her Land Rover, Gabe’s descent into Tomas’s world seems complete.

Two Puerto Rican boys live in a bad part of town with their ex-pat mother who works two dead-end jobs trying to make a better life for her boys.

American Son | W. W. Norton & Company

Her American husband divorces her and she works two jobs to make ends meet. Maybe now, younger Filipinos have more pride and nationalism, but I have friends who have Filipino mothers, but are half white and they have green eyes and light skin. I had the privilege of attending a reading and book signing of Ascalon Roley and with how humble and soft spoken he is you would never guess that this book would be such a punch in the gut. I did get this story ameeican enjoyed it.

It has made me appreciate and respect my family a lot more. Does that make us sick?